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What Are Corns and Heel Spurs

Have you ever experienced a bony growth at the back of your heel? Has that surface ever felt hardened or even painful? This could be a sign of heel spurs and corns. Heel spurs and corns occur when your foot rubs against a hardened surface, which repeatedly causes pressure on your skin. The skin then hardens in layers on your feet as your body tries to protect itself from the pressure and friction. Corns occur on the toes, while heel spurs occur under the sole of the feet or heel where calcium deposits form under the heel bone. It is important to contact your foot doctor, or podiatrist to help you deal with any corns and heel spurs, and to prevent them from reoccurring.

While a professional opinion can be very helpful and necessary for some, other times, patients’ skin outgrowth is not painful, so they opt for home remedies. Scrubbing and cutting off some of the dry, flaky, or hardened areas can help deal with the extra skin.

If the corns and heel spurs are painful, it might mean that there is a bigger problem. You should see your foot doctor for professional advice and diagnoses.

Common Causes of Corns and Heel Spurs

A repetitive sensation of friction and pressure on the foot are some of the leading causes of corns and heel spurs. Here are some sources of repeated friction and pressure:

Not Using Socks When Wearing Shoes

Using socks can offer additional protection for your feet when you wear shoes or sandals. Shoe material like leather is rigid and can cause a burning sensation when worn for prolonged periods of time without socks. Friction like this can cause corns on the toes, which can be identified through rough, yellow, and sensitive areas of your toes.

Poorly Fitting Shoes

Smaller-fitting shoes can squeeze some parts of your feet as you try to fit into them. Foot parts that are most exposed to the pressure are the heel area and toes, resulting in heel spurs and corns. These problems are most common in people trying to break in new leather shoes. It can be painful as well as result in these hardened surfaces on your feet.

High heels can also tighten around the toe, making many women develop calluses and corns on their feet and toes. You can avoid problems like this by prioritizing a comfortable fit when choosing high heels.


Sometimes, corns and heel spurs develop due to hereditary foot deformities like hammertoes. Such conditions relate to the patient’s genetics, which can make it challenging for them to wear regular shoes comfortably. The unique shape of their feet or toes makes them prone to corns and calluses, so they should try to find custom shoes or footwear that caters more to their needs and condition.

Excess Body Weight

Being overweight can cause extra pressure on the heel area when walking, which can cause the skin to harden. Heel spurs also result from walking gait issues, which is an issue common in people with excess body weight. The repetitive stress from walking and being on your feet often can also cause inflammation and pain in the sole area.

Treatment for Corns and Heel Spurs

Corns and heel spurs can be easy to diagnose, but you may need an expert’s opinion on the approach to deal with the foot problem. Here are some treatment approaches that a specialist might recommend for corn and heel spurs:

Trimming Off the Hardened skin

The hardened skin can cause some discomfort when walking, so experts can help you trim it off. Trimming the hardened skin is not painful since the corn or heel spur contains dead skin. Avoid trimming the skin yourself to prevent risk of infection when you trim off excess skin.

Medicated Patch Descriptions

One practical solution for medical podiatrists is to offer medicated patches to apply to the affected area. Medicated patches contain Salicylic acid, which can help to soften the hardened skin. The acid can help to loosen the skin so that it can fall off easily. Salicylic acid can also help to bring down the swelling of these hardened and painful areas, which can aid in your overall comfort.

Before applying the patch, you should start by scouring off some of the hard skin using a pumice stone or nail file. To start this process, you may want to soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts first. After that, it is best to moisturize with a hydrating lotion. When the corn or spur surface is softened and the pain has reduced, rubbing it with a pumice stone can help. You may also use an emery board, or nail file, if the corns are between your toes.

After the recommended time to have your patch on, repeat the process with subsequent patches. It may take a few weeks for the corn to disappear.

Shoe Inserts

Padding on areas you experience friction and pressure within your shoe can help reduce the effect on the feet. The padded inserts need to be customized to prevent recurring heel spurs and corns.

Corrective Surgery

Foot deformities can be corrected through surgical bone alignment or adjustment. You will experience lesser pressure or friction, eliminating the chances of developing corns or heel spurs. It is important to consult your doctor or podiatrist to see if surgery is necessary in your situation. A medical expert will be able to help you decide the most appropriate treatment plan.

Find the Best Food Doctor

Foot problems like corns and heel spurs can become infected and painful if left untreated. The long term effects of leaving a condition like this untreated can lead to blisters, calluses, infection, and sore tendons. To prevent spurs and corns from making walking difficult, you should visit the best foot doctor. Podiatrists offer medical solutions to treat the corns and heel spurs and prevent them from recurring, which can help to save yourself from long term pain and costly medical bills if the situation is severe.

Eleena Wills
Hi, I’m Eleena Wills. Being a writer and blogger, I strive to provide informative and valuable articles to people. With quality, constructive, and well-researched articles, one can make informed choices. I cover a wide range of topics, from home improvement to hair styling and automotive.


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